The Vegetable Garden

Glossary - M-O

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Macroclimate – The overall climate of a particular region.

Maximum temperature – The warmest temperature that germination occurs for seed of a particular vegetable.

Microclimate – The specific environmental conditions of your garden site.

Micronutrients – Plant nutrients that are needed in very small quantities.

Milk phase – Stage of development when the juice of the kernels on sweet corn ears appears milky.

Minimum temperature – Coolest temperature that seed germination or growth occurs for a particular vegetable.

Mixed fertilizers – Fertilizers that ontain the major nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium).

Mulch – A layer of material covering the soil surface to exclude sunlight.

Muskmelon – A melon that has a musky aroma and salmon to orange colored flesh when mature. It has a netted rind with deep sutures.

Mycelium – The network or mass of hyphae formed by fungi.


Natural mulches – Mulches made from natural materials such as compost or bark.

Nitrate – The form of nitrogen that plants use. It is easily lost through leaching.

Noxious weed – Weeds that government agencies want to prevent from establishing in a particular area.

Nurse plants – Plants that provide factors or serve as breeding grounds for beneficial insects, increasing populations of beneficial insects.


Open-pollinated cultivars – Plants that are left to become pollinated on their own.

Optimum temperature – The temperature at which the greatest or most rapid seed germination occurs for a particular vegetable.

Oral exposure – Pesticide is ingested through a person’s mouth.

Organic matter – Decaying plant, microbe and animal remains.

Organic pesticides – A pesticide made from a natural product that has undergone only a little processing.

Over mulching – Applying too much mulch.

Oxygen starvation – Roots cannot get the oxygen they need.